Homeowners have more options when it comes to deck flooring than ever before. Synthetic materials are now routinely competing with traditional lumber materials when people begin planning for a deck. Those synthetic deck flooring material differ from wood mainly in terms of needing less maintenance than in providing a more sturdy foundation. By going with synthetic flooring, you ensure that you will spend less time sealing and refinishing than if you had chosen wood.
Redwood flooring offers a dark color and resistance to decay. The aesthetic appeal and durability of redwood comes at the price of being very expensive. An option to consider is choosing another type of flooring and going with redwood only for railings and steps.
Cedar is a good choice for those looking to get a weathered appearance from the deck over time. Cedar decks begin with a light brown color and then gain a uniformly weathered grayish appearance over time. "Building Decks" suggests that sapwood cedar needs to be treated with wood preservative if you plan on using it for deck flooring.
Bald cypress wood is a popular deck flooring material in the Southeast, where it grows. The popularity of this kind of wood stems from the fact that it grows in swampy areas and so has proven itself naturally resistant to both rot and insects.
Pressure-treated wood is the most cost-effective material for deck flooring for the average homeowner, according to "1001 Ideas for Decks." The pressure-treating systems involve placing a piece of timber from trees like pine, fir or hemlock into a vacuum chamber that is filled with liquid preservatives. This preserving process ensures that deck flooring using pressure-treated wood is durable.
According to "How to Build and Plan Decks," fiberglass flooring is the way to go if you want to ensure a watertight surface. The cost of fiberglass deck flooring is competitive with traditional wood design and you are guaranteed not only water protection, but protection from termites and other wood-feasting insects.
Synthetic deck flooring is known collectively as composites and this material can be made from a variety of products that includes wood fiber and plastic mixed with wood waste. The big draw for synthetic materials for deck flooring is that you will never have to worry about rotting or splintering. You also save on maintenance because composite decking doesn't require finishing. Prepare to pay a premium price for the advantages offered by composites. Synthetic decks can potentially cost as much as premium woods.
Premium Exotic Wood
Premium wood flooring for decks includes exotic timber like teak and mahogany. The price is high for this material, but the cost includes a high resistance to decay and insects. Some of the higher grade deck wood will even survive fire. The cost of premium wood flooring extends beyond the cost of the timber itself and to additional labor expenses required to work with these very hard pieces of wood.
- Essentialextrasinc.com: Selecting Deck Flooring
- "1001 Ideas for Decks;" Joe Provey; 2007
- "How to Plan and Build Decks;" David E. Clark, Ed.; 1980
- "Building Decks;" Bryan Trandem, Ed.; 1991
- Photo Credit deck image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com
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